MPC 2 and MPC Beats are incredibly powerful and versatile DAWs when used on their own. However, some cases may merit the use of MPC 2 as a VST within a different DAW. Whether this is due to workflow preferences or to gain access to MPC-exclusive plugins in your DAW of choice, this guide serves as a general aid to help you get set up.


Tutorial Video

Before Preparing Your Session

Prior to configuring your MPC VST instance, please be sure that the following prerequisites have been met:

  1. MPC has been Downloaded, Installed, and Activated
  2. MPC VST has been Downloaded and Installed
    • If you have previously completed a total installation of MPC, this is likely already the case. However, you can double check or re-install this content from the 'My Software' section of your inMusic Software Center.
    • If you are not seeing MPC as an available plugin within your DAW, ensure that it is saved to your indicated plugin folder and confirm that your DAW supports the use of VST plugins.
  3. Enable Controller Mode (If using MPC hardware)
    • Controller mode must be enabled for your MPC to control the MPC 2 VST or software as-intended. 
    • As well, be sure your MPC hardware is running the same version number as your MPC Software and that you have installed your device's MPC Controller Mode Driver from the inMusic Software Center.  

Creating your MPC Master Track

Once you have obtained and configured the necessary prerequisites, we can now prepare MPC's channel routing to interface with your DAW. You can follow these steps to complete this portion of the configuration:

Creating the Track

  1. Create a MIDI Track in your DAW of choice.
  2. Enable the MPC VST Plugin on the MIDI track you've just created. It will show in your plugin folder as MPC2, MPCBeats, or MPC64.
  3. Open your MPC Plugin instance on your master track.

Routing MIDI In

  1. If you are using MPC without an external MIDI controller, or otherwise do not have any need for specific MIDI channel routing, you can set your Track MIDI Inputs within MPC to All Channels. This can be accomplished in Track>MIDI

  2. If you are using external MIDI devices, such as an MPK Mini or Oxygen Pro 49, you can assign those controllers to control specific tracks within MPC. This is not mandatory but can be beneficial to certain workflows.

    • First, configure your MIDI controller to output via the MIDI channel of your choosing. Please refer to your device's user guide for assistance in doing so.

    • Next, within MPC, select the specific track you'd like your controller to control. Within the track's MIDI Menu, set the input channel to match the channel you've selected on your external MIDI device. 

Routing Audio Out

  1. Build out your project in MPC such that your tracks contain each voice you'd like to route to their own audio tracks in your DAW. For example, you might organize your beat into three tracks: One for drums, one for bass, and one for melody, each to be individually effected and processed in your DAW. 
  2. Navigate to MPC's Mixer View.

  3. Configure the output routing for each track. On the track's channel strip, navigate to Output>Stereo Output, then select an auxiliary stereo pair from the list. This stereo pair is the track's output channel routing. Take note of the pair you've selected for each track, as it is necessary information to correctly configure your DAW's audio tracks in the next step.

Please note: The same routing technique can be used to route individual drum parts to their own DAW tracks using the Pad Mixer. To do so, simply repeat the above steps while the Pad Mixer is open, selecting stereo pairs for each component of your drum rack. 

Creating and Routing MPC Bus Tracks in your DAW

Now that MPC's routing is configured, we can proceed with the creation of the bus tracks in your DAW that will receive the audio from each corresponding track within your MPC plugin instance.

Please note: The specific controls and parameters that dictate this routing will vary from DAW to DAW. If you experience trouble configuring your DAW's audio routing, please refer to your DAW's support resources and user manual for assistance. 

  1. In your DAW, create a number of audio tracks equal to the number of tracks you have created and routed in your MPC plugin instance. 
  2. Configure each audio track such that it receives audio input from MPC. This setting is typically found on the track's channel strip or preferences. For example: In Ableton Live, this is found under the 'Audio From' section of the channel strip.
  3. Remember those stereo pairs you selected within MPC? We'll now put them to use. On your DAW track, after you've enabled MPC as the audio input, select the MPC stereo pair that corresponds to the track within MPC from which you'd like the DAW track to receive audio. For example: If you routed your drum track in MPC to stereo outputs 3 & 4, set your DAW track's input channels to 3 & 4 to match. 
  4. Repeat this process for each track, selecting the matching stereo outs that correspond to your output routing in MPC. 

You have now successfully routed audio from your MPC plugin instance to individualized tracks within your DAW! From here, you may proceed with your production and take advantage of MPC's versatile toolkit within your comfortable home-DAW workflow.

Applying this Technique

So, you've successfully configured the virtual production machine of your dreams! All your favorite MPC tools can now be used within the comfort and familiarity of your DAW of choice. You might ask, aside from the obvious, what's exactly to gain here?

First, using MPC as a VST within your DAW enables you to make use of bundled MPC plugins that do not include a standalone VST installer. Plugins such as Electric, Tubesynth, Bassline, Drumsynth, Hype, Mellotron, Solina, and Odyssey come bundled with the purchase of any current MPC, but do not include standalone VST installers. This method enables you to make use of these otherwise MPC-exclusive plugins in your DAW of choice. 

As well, this configuration allows you to use DAW-specific insert effects on your MPC instruments on an individual basis. This capability fosters optimal synergy between the respective toolkits of MPC and your DAW. This also allows you to make use of insert FX that are not compatible with MPC software in standalone.

Regardless of your particular application, this strategy is an invaluable asset in your producer's tool belt. Given the variety of tools available within MPC and your host DAW, the creative implications of this configuration are as wide as your own imagination.